This is going to be a very long post. I tried to make it shorter, but it still ended up ridiculously long. But I can’t tell all of what’s been going on with Sonic in fewer words than in this post.
If you have read the previous post about Sonic, then you know what he went through and how I have been trying everything to have him improve and gain weight. So you know about his problem with constipation…
Another scare with Sonic last week. But now we are hopefully on the right track for this to never happen again.
Last weekend, late on Sunday evening the 31st of January, Sonic started struggling to pass the remaining bit of bowel movement, after passing some hard stool. It was the last bit that the new stool softener couldn’t make soft enough. A while before that, I had to temporarily change his stool softener, because I found that the previous stool softener was the reason why Sonic kept throwing up so often. In addition, of it not working well enough. I am giving him fibre with malt paste to soften his stool now. Which is enough at the moment anyway, since Sonic only gets liquid food (a special formula for sick and weakened cats) and after that he’ll get kitten formula.
During the night from Sunday to Monday, poor Sonic kept trying and trying to pass that remaining bowel movement. He just wasn’t able to do it. To make matters worse, he started throwing up from exhaustion and being upset. (Sonic always throws up as soon as he gets upset or stressed out about something). Every little bit of water he got in, came right back up.
I stayed by his side the whole time, trying to comfort him any way I could, hoping he would try to sleep a bit. Unfortunately, he kept trying the whole night, repeatedly throwing up the water I was giving him. By the morning, he was absolutely exhausted and dehydrated. Since he is still below a normal weight, exhaustion and dehydration like that becomes life threatening.
Off to the Vet
I called the Vet right in the morning and told them what was going on. Before I left with Sonic, both Ralph and I thought that this might be it. Ralph thought he might never see his boy alive again and had to say good bye to him, just in case the worst would happen and the Vet would not be able to save him. I was in a near panicked state, barely keeping it together.
Taxi Driver wasn’t happy with us – I called a Taxi and off we went. But before I got out of the Taxi, and after I paid, the driver told me that I should inform the Taxi company that I would have an animal with me the next time, because he doesn’t accept animals in his Taxi normally and that it has to do with his religion and that animals are unclean, therefore creating a problem for him and others with the same belief. He wasn’t shouting at me or anything, just calmly saying it. But after using Taxis most of my life for Vet visits, it’s the first time ever I heard about anything like it. Especially, it’s just a kitty in a carrier, a leak proof one at that. But now it made sense why the driver didn’t even greet me and kept looking back to Sonic with an annoyed look on his face.
So I got out and into the waiting room of our Vet, which was thankfully empty and we didn’t have to wait at all. I was so worried and expected the worst.
Our lovely Vet took sweet Sonic out of his carrier and had a good look at what’s going on, while I told her all the details. Like I was expecting, there was only one solid and rather hard poo left in him, which he was unable to pass. The Vet gave him two tiny enemas to soften it all up and then massaged his tummy, to break the piece up as much as possible. Thankfully it all worked and it was out without too much difficulties. Although by that time, Sonic’s rectum was all swollen up and in pain from trying desperately all night.
Sonic stayed at the Vet for a few hours
Because of how dehydrated, exhausted and weak he was, the Vet decided it would be best for him to stay with them for a few hours. That way they would be able to give him a long intravenous drip for rehydration, while also being able to keep an eye on him and able to help if he get’s worse. She explained that the subcutaneous drip, which creates a little pocket of liquid under his skin for rehydration, would not be taken up by his body fast and well enough, as his general body temperature was also a bit lower than normal.
Before the access was laid, the Vet listened to Sonic’s heart and breathing, which was thankfully perfectly normal. His heart was beating strong and perfectly regular, and his breathing was normal as well. So the access for the vein was put in, after shaving a small area on a front leg above the vein. That way they were also able to take some blood easily, to check on his kidneys, blood sugar and some other important things. Everything turned out to be fine with the blood results, which was such a great sign in itself. Then through the vein access, he received pain medication as well. An antibiotic was given too, but subcutaneously.
And so Sonic was put into his hospital bed cage / carrier, with the drip attached to the outside of it. The Vet also made him a pillow, because I told her Sonic always wants to rest his head on something. I said good bye to the sweet boy, but felt very hopeful he would be fine. Sonic is always so calm and brave at the Vet and never complains or panics. He seems to trust the Vet fully, as he’s been there so many times already (not just for emergencies though). He didn’t seem to worry or even look distressed.
Just so you know what it looks like… The following photo of Sonic in his a Vet Carrier Cage was taken a year prior, when he was there to resolve his constipation. In the picture, Sonic was put in the Vet Carrier, while we were waiting for the enema he received, to do it’s work. Only last week, he had his blanket with him as well, which the Vet made into a head rest for him, and there was an IV attached to the outside. Btw, Sonic stayed in the recovery room last week, where it’s quiet, warm and the light is dimmed.
I took the tram home instead of another Taxi just for myself. On the way, I told Ralph everything and that I am going to pick him up again in the afternoon.
Back at home, I could hardly sit still while we were waiting for the time to go by, until I could go to pick him up again. Though I was reassured by not receiving a call from the Vet while waiting at home. Because the Vet said she would call right away if Sonic would suddenly get worse, or has to be picked up sooner in case he gets upset and wants to go home.
Though thankfully, the time went by and I could finally go and pick him up. It was a lovely sunny day and not cold. Therefore I decided I would use my bicycle instead of calling a Taxi again. I took an additional blanket with me so I could wrap Sonic up and keep him warm on the way home. Btw, Sonic actually prefers the bicycle rides. He is not complaining much on the bicycle, just in the beginning when I put him in the carrier. In a car on the other hand, he stays upset the whole ride and cries a lot.
Once I was back at the Vet office, I didn’t have to wait again and was called in quickly. The Vet brought Sonic out from the back and put him on the examination table and Sonic was already sitting and looking around, visibly feeling a lot better. His IV was still attached to him. Apparently he started to perk up after the IV had been going in for half an hour. Though Sonic didn’t start to cry or struggle in there. In all, he stayed at the Vet for about 4 hours and spent that time either looking around a bit, or sleeping.
It was such a relief! God was I glad to see Sonic and he was glad to see me too! Sonic got another little drip, but subcutaneous, which would rehydrate him some more over the next few hours. After that, we put him in his carrier and we were on our way home again. This sweetie actually enjoyed the ride home and watching everything interested. It’s not a long ride anyway. Once I got us home, I opened the carrier and let him step out.
Back at home
Lisa, Hero and Samantha all came to check on him. He was still weak and unsteady, but that was no surprise after everything.
Sonic went straight for a drink. A really really long drink and then he walked into the bedroom, followed by everyone.
The reason for Sonic’s struggles and the way to the solution
Now we also know what is always causing constipation. Sonic has a slight abnormality in the way his rectum is shaped, which makes it very easy for things to get stuck if the stool isn’t soft enough. The shape also results in the stool getting too big to pass easily once it gets stuck there.
His constipation problems were one of his two big issues that nearly took his life repeatedly. The other issue is the auto immune disorder, which affects his gums and causes a runny nose and runny eyes. Although the disorder is under control, his gums are very sensitive. There are no wounds or anything anymore, but it seems to be a nerve issue that make his gums sensitive in some way, although not painful. This is why Sonic kept losing weight, despite eating. Sonic is also extremely fussy and picky with food, which does not help at all of course.
It took me quite a while to figure out how to stop him from losing weight. Everything I tried to feed him, he refused, due to his pickiness. He just has a little sniff at something and then goes “Yuck, no…” and walks off. Sometimes also trying to bury it before walking off.
For a long time I kept failing when trying to give him liquid food with a syringe in his mouth. He was struggling against it and if I got anything in at all, he would refuse to swallow it and everything would run out of his mouth. A second try after that was always even more impossible. I was considering to talk to the Vet about a feeding tube, but Ralph and I knew that would never work and only stress him out.
Success with feeding – As you know, I’m not giving up. So out of desperation, I kept trying to work out how to feed him with a syringe. For some reason, and by some more trial and error, I finally found the right way to feed him with a syringe. I just have to put the food on the back of his tongue and it’s fine. Not only that! He actually loves it! It’s unbelievable, but he LOVES getting his formula like that now. He doesn’t want to lick it up himself, because he dislikes anything that he thinks is messy. I use a 1ml syringe, so I have to keep pulling up some more milk for him. And you can see that he is looking forward to more while I am doing that. Then amount from the 1ml syringe is just right for a mouth full that he swallows in one go. He’s getting 100ml a day of a formula very high in nutrients and energy.
The improvement was amazing
Just 24 hours after feeding him like that, he had a whole lot more energy. Within not even a week, he was walking fast and steady, no wonky legs, no weakness. On the bad Monday last week, he was so weak, he could not even drink water properly. He couldn’t hold up his head or used his tongue properly, he was that weak. So the difference was enormous to say the least. The formula is Royal Canin’s Convalescence Support support btw. Unfortunately, it’s not being produced anymore and the last remaining stock in the stores is now almost gone. Thankfully though, Kitten Formula is going to work just as well. I’ll probably just have to feed him a bit more of it.
This big comfy chair next to the living room window is now Sonic’s favourite spot. He’s decided to hang out there while he recovers and becomes stronger. I took the photos during the beginning of last week. Lisa and Hero often stay close to Sonic, especially when he was still rather weak. The blankies are on there to protect the chair from getting ripped to bits lol. Sonic also has his little cushions to rest his head on.
How Sonic is doing now
Sonic still prefers to hang out on the big chair by the window. He can see everyone from there and it’s soft and comfy. His body temperature was a bit low in the beginning of last week and we kept covering him with a blanket to keep him warm.
- Since Wednesday of last week, Sonic’s body temperature is back to normal.
- Digestion is working and he’s not struggling with hard bowel movements. Sonic also gets up and has drinks of water often.
- Sonic is walking rather fast and normal again. He jumps up on his chair with ease.
- He’s interested in things again, purrs and enjoys cuddles and brushing and is even playing when I get out his favourite toys.
- Sonic’s appetite is huge now and he loves getting fed with the milk formula and enjoys some boiled chicken breast.
I only had one wish for Christmas and my birthday, which was today, and my wish is for Sonic to keep getting better, gain weight and stay with us for a lot longer! So far it seems, my wish has been granted! I keep praying for Sonic’s wellbeing and I’m thankful that the sweet boy is still with us and still fighting to get stronger! What a boy!
I have a couple more posts coming up that I didn’t post because my attention and mind was all on Sonic. Thank you so much for all your sweet comments and your kindness.
Lots of love from us all!